November 3, 2008

Oceans Apart

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow is my birthday. Ryan and I haven't spoken to each other since Saturday... we are oceans apart because of things said and left unsaid since Christian's death. We are the best of friends and have been through a lot together. We giggled like children when we found out we were pregnant. We cried tears of joy the moment our son was born and we wept bitterly in each other's arms as our child took his last breath.

We've been through so much... How can we come this far and not be able to talk to each other? There are so many things I don't understand.

I know everyone grieves differently... I've heard it a thousand times already. How can anyone prepare for loss so great? Our son died. My voice falters and my eyes fill up with tears when I say those words out loud. But must my relationship suffer because my grief is different than Ryan's?

I can't tell you what is wrong. I honestly don't know. And I don't know how to fix it.

I know many of you have been praying for me and my family. God hears our prayers. I pray for heart is broken.

My wish for tomorrow is for Ryan and I to speak like the friends we used to be...can still be. Pray with me my friends...




Anonymous said...

Praying for you both in hopes that peace and comfort comes your way soon. Take care of yourselves and one another.

~Reading & praying in CT

Anonymous said...

Oh Leah, the pain for both of you is so great. It is impossible for it to be exactly the same for both of you but I know the way a guy deals with it can be so strange...I mean different:-) If it's still out in your area go see the movie "fireproof"- it won't be out for long so hurry, it's an amazing Godly movie about stress and trials in marriage. I cried the whole way through, you will relate to so much of it. Still praying. God is working.

Darlene said...

Oh Leah! AND Ryan. I am so so sorry for your pit of grief and despair.

I have just said a prayer for you both, and for your oneness in Christ. May He be your common ground, at ground zero.

Mommy Jenni said...

Everyone deals with everything differently. Though I cannot relate I can add this, my husband spent 13 months in Iraq right before we got married. He watched his friends die and felt the fear of death everyday. His PTSD affected me and we both struggled in our first months of marriage. We seeked help together, and are now over the hump. I give you my thoughts and hope, Few poeple go through and no one deserves to go through what your family has, but your key to survival is in each other!
Love Jenni

Carla Burlando said...

My heart is breaking for you Leah. I noticed on facebook that it was your birthday tomorrow...I know I'm officially a computer dork. And I was wondering how to say Happy Birthday to someone living through such dispair and grief. Its like hearing "Happy Mothers day" a week before my son died...and knowing at the time he would die. yeah right...anything but happy. I will pray that this Birthday would be one of healing and restoration in your relationship with your husband. As well as healing and peace in your heart. You are both hurting so intensly and ,like you said ,it is expressed in such different ways. Grief brings such loneliness that I'm so sorry that this added trouble makes you feel so much more alone. Even in the loneliness know that a woman in the far away north country :) is on her knees praying for you and your husband.. and will continue to hold you up in prayer on your birthday.

Jennifer said...

I have struggled along with you in this. I will be praying that you both will be able to find some joy in each other's arms tomorrow (and forever). This is SO difficult. I will pray and pray and pray. The loss of my son already hurt so bad then it began to feel like I was losing my husband as well.
I am so sorry.

Amber said...

The emptiness and pain in your words is painful to read and imagine. I am so very sorry for the extreme loss...of not only your son but the life you knew. In the barreness it is so difficult to see...but I feel such a strength in you both. You are going to come out of this stronger, more connected, and closer to God than you ever thought possible. I know it. Much love and prayers your way....

Anonymous said...

I think it is time for you two to take your vacation together. Bring back that closeness, which is still there but, muddy from the devestating events of the past months.

I think on this trip you two need to talk to each other, grieve with each other, dance with each other, watch your wedding video. Remember your son but, also remember your love for each other. Maybe recommmit your vows to each other.

I am praying for you both and for peace and love to fill your hearts.

I found another song I thought you might like, it is "Say goodnight...not goodbye" by Beth Nielson Chapman.

I also think a couple of these books might help.

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart by Deborah L. Davis

Parent Grief: Narratives of Loss and Relationship (Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement)

And check out this blog:


ps. I am praying like crazy!

Mrs. P said...


It's so hard when people grieve in different ways.

Take comfort in knowing that there are perfect stangers that care and are praying.

Laurie said...

Leah, I just recently found your blog. I am so sorry for all that you are going through. I hope that your birthday will bring a new day of healing and restoration for you and Ryan. While we have not faced a loss such as yours, my hubby and I grieved differently when our son was diagnosed with a rare genetic neurological disorder. It took some time and understanding of eachothers grief, fears, sense of responsibility and finding peace that God had a plan for us and for our son. I hope you and Ryan can find a way to talk to each other about all that is weighing on your hearts and minds. Hugs to you!

Anonymous said...

Leah and Ryan
Healing hurts. So we out here in cyberspace pray for God's peace to comfort both of you.And we will keep praying, because we know God is listening.

Karen said...

It is hard to be specific on what to say that may help here. After Jacob's death, I saw how I viewed some relationships with friends and family differently and how the whole situation seperated me from them and bad, hurt feelings were tearing me down. 4 weeks after Jacob died, I vowed to not allow Satan to use Jacob's life for his evil. Since, I have worked through these relationship issues....some I had to talk to them and work through it, but others I just had to forgive without them even knowing the issue (that is hard!). God does not seperate you from your husband and this is not what He wants for you; Satan does and would love this to destroy your marriage. Be motivated by Christian's life....don't let anything evil come from it. Fight and do what you have to. Praying for this all.

Loving you from afar,

Muriel and Jerry said...

I am so so sorry. Praying for you.

Judy said...

Praying for you guys! Love is patient...just be patient and keep loving!

Suzie said...

Leah, I am praying for you and Ryan. I know how hard this is. My husband and I are still not on the same page emotionally with our grieving process. I know it is strange to say, but honey, you just need to wait out the storm. It is hard, it is a struggle, but I am sure you two love each other too much to continue the silence. You both will "break" many, many times over the next many months. You just have to remember (both of you) that you BOTH have lost something so great. And you are left without the knowledge on how to cope with your feelings. I am still there. It is so hard.

I am praying for you dear friend. And hoping for the rain to pass and the sun to peek through the storm.

you are in my thoughts and prayers constantly.
Cooper's Momma

Deb D. said...

Leah: how trusting of you to share this struggle with us in blogland. I am sorry though not shocked/surprised to learn that your and Ryan's sorrow is hurting your relationship. How sad though that when you are deeply needing comfort and one another there just isn't the resource available within you to fully meet each others' needs. Like the many here, I will continue to pray for your and Ryan's relationship. And I do wish you a beautiful day, whatever that may look like in your painful present. Caring in Indiana.

sea star said...

Nothing but love and prayers for you both. Happy birthday Leah.

Robin said...

I am praying for you both. Don't allow another day to pass with out reaching out to one another. You both have suffered in your son's death, but don't make one another suffer when you have one another to live for.
I don't know what you are experiencing, but I know God is much bigger than what the devil wants you to think. Give it to Him-He wants to heal ALL your wounds!
Psalm 56:3-4 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God I have put my trust; I will not fear.
God loves you both....

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for awhile now and you have been in my prayers but I have never commented. Tonight, I wanted you to know that I have no idea what you are going through or what you will continue to go through for the rest of your life but I am praying for you, so deeply. What you and your best friend- your husband have been through must be the deepest of lows. I pray that you can find strength in each other. Only you two know what it is like to be Christian's parents and I pray, oh how I pray, that you can hold each other during this most difficult time. Take care of each other.

friedrichfamily said...

I will say an extra prayer for you all.

asplashofsunshine said...

Stare at the picture at the top of your sidebar with you, and your husband smiling while holding baby Christian. Look at it over and over together. The smiles are so real. It is incredibly obvious that both of you were happy in that moment to be a mommy and daddy to your adorable baby boy.

Your willingness to open up your life is... I can't find a word that explains it. I am not lucky enough to know you, but I can tell that you are real, honest, and true. This world needs more mommies like you. For that, I thank you.

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you are able to enjoy your special day.

Anonymous said...

Leah & Ryan,
I have been following your site since just before Christian died. I can't begin to know what you are going through or the grief. But one of you has to take that first step and talk. And the other has to take the first step to Listen! As has been said here many times...God doesn't want this Satan does and if you continue not to talk...he wins. I have been in situations many times where I have just had to say...I'm not going to let Satan have a victory.
I check on you daily and pray for you both. You both have had a unbelievable rough year. Praying for strength for the days and peace for your nights. God is holding you in the palm of His hand. Let Him heal you, it's not going to be quick or easy.

Debbie said...

Prayers are with you both. Remember God is always there. It has been a struggle for us even after a year. I constantly have to remind me what is really important. Hope you find peace on your birthday.

Anonymous said...

My birthday is November 4th, too---so Happy Birthday to US! Hang in is a struggle....but faith will help you survive it.

Another Scorpio in Naples...

Anonymous said...

It hurts when the silence creeps in and no one wants to be the first to break. When Christian arrived he was a little piece of both of you and a little piece of heaven combined. The joys that should have brought you together has turned into the grief that separates you. Sometimes it takes one person being the one brave enough to break the silence. No matter how much it hurts. After four years dealing with the loss of our son my husband and I still take turns being the brave one who breaks the silence. The chasm that grew between us while we grieved apart takes so much more time to close than it did to build.
Remember he is your best friend. Maybe this time you have to be the brave one to break the silence and next time it may be his turn. The pain you share may be felt differently but it is still felt. What will help you deal with the death of your son can be so different from what will help him. I found that the things that help me cope and the things that helped my husband sometimes ended hurting the other.
Every day I learn a little more about how to grow from this tragic outcome to such a beautiful and short life. I know you both will too. There is no one set way to get through this. Just hold on to one another even in the silence.

The Pittsburgh Hites said...

First let me tell you HAPPY BIRTHDAY, second let me tell you that you and Ryan will be in my prayers tonight and tomorrow.
It's okay for everything in your life to be different now, you have a different reality. Life isn't all happiness and joy, you know the pain and cruelty that life can bring. Just remember, run towards Ryan, not away. Just find comfort in his arms, i know it's hard when you want to try and be brave in front of him(and the rest of the world) but know that he is suffering just as you are. What if he is crying in the shower so you won't see him? I know it's hard to talk, but take the day to just re-connect, and figure out how to keep going one day at a time, together.
Stay strong, both of you. I wish I had more time to write, but this is my busiest three months of the year!! I am praying though, and following all your updates!!
-Praying and hoping for a great day for both of you tomorrow.

connie said...

Leah, I am praying for you and Ryan. I can't even imagine the pain you are both experiencing, but I know how easy it is to pull apart when things are really painful, instead of toward each other. I promise to be praying for you as God helps you to reach toward each other. And I'm sorry this is happening on your birthday, which makes you feel even more alone. I remember the sweet posts you wrote in the beginning of this blog, and the letters from Ryan to Christian. Your relationship is unique and so sweet, and I believe your closeness will return.

So Blessed said...

Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your holiness and know that when one of your children prays, you hear them. I come as a stretcher bearer tonight on behalf of Your children, Leah and Ryan...You know their pain, Lord, and the difficulties they face in their grief over losing their precious son. While they may grieve differently, this loss is something they share and binds them together. I ask You to protect them from the enemy who tries to inflict more harm on them in their vulnerable state, Lord. I know that You hold them both in Your hands, Father...fill their hearts with peace and reconciliation. You blessed them with each other and joined them in the union of marriage...I ask that You shelter them under Your mighty wing. I trust Your plan to prosper them, to give them hope and a future. In Jesus' precious name, I pray. Amen.

Kenzie said...


I'm so sorry sweet girl. As you know, each of us goes through this so differently! I have prayed and will be praying for restoration for you and Ryan's friendship and deep love... and for God's hand to completely cover you both as you walk through this pain.

Praying for a sweet, simple, thankful birthday... for time for you and Ryan to enjoy together!

Love you!

Emily Woodard said...

i have been following your blog for a little while, by way of Maddox Stanfield's blog.
let me just say that you are an inspiration to me and my life, and i thank you for that. you are an extremely special individual and i am saddened even more by your recent post and my heart goes out to you and your husband both. you guys seem like the sweetest, most wonderful people.
i have been out of pocket for three weeks and have not read your entries during that time. my dad passed on the fifteenth of october and i have been in louisiana starting on that day and just got back home to florida yesterday and "checked on you."
i believe that what you are going through is at least a ka-zillion times worse than what i am feeling as a result of my dad's death, he was fifty-seven years old.
i know that i am struggling and cannot begin to fathom what you and your husband must be going through.
i do know that my mother, and younger brother and i met with a pastor friend of ours who gave great insight to us and i would love to share what notes i have taken from that meeting.
i typed a good bit of it onto the comment i just tried to leave for you guys, but it just got lost, so for now, i will just say that if you would like to read some things from him, please email me.
i would enjoy sharing it with you.
you are a blessing and encouragement to me and to my life, as i see that you are also to so, so many others.
thank you for what an amazing gift you have given to me with your faith, strength, courage, love, and perseverance, to name only a few.
my name is Emily Woodard, and my email address is

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! I have never prayed for an ocean to dry up before. So this is a first. Your son Christian was created in love. This love is very valuable, this love is precious. Grief is a terrible process, men and women deal with it very differently. And that is alright. But take some time to find each other again. wishing you a bunch of rainbows, with a pot of gold at the end.


Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for you. I said a prayer for you and Ryan and Christian. Did you get the book, The Shack yet? Read it!

ajc4ever said...

I've been following your blog since just before Christian died. I wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, especially for God's blessing and restoration in your marriage.

Angela from Ohio

Rebecca CA said...

I just wanted to think of you and pray for you on your special day. I am sure its not the birthday you had planned. May you and Ryan have a peace that passes all understanding and the wounds in your heart draw you together. I am so sorry for your pain and loss one of my favorite psalms is Hear my cry O LORD when my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Praying for you and your husband and your precious baby boy in heaven he is so beautiful

Destini said...

Leah and Ryan,
My original thoughts were to post on Satan wanting nothing more than to defeat your marriage, but saw that Karen reflected the same sentiments! Christ went to the grave to give us victory in our battles. He died for you, Ryan and even Baby Christian. I am praying that He will bring restoration to your family.

Carol said...

Dear Leah,
Your love for your husband shines through your blog! Don't beat yourself up because your grief is different from his.

Big hugs from here. I will continue to pray for you.

A friend in Canada

Joy said...

Dear Leah:

Happy birthday, dear friend, (who I don;t know and have never met)and sister in Christ.

I pray for a nice birthday for you and that your husband is kind and wonderful today.

God Bless you both.


mrsrubly said...

happy birthday Leah! i hope all is well with you and Ryan!

Kathy said...

Oh dearest Leah!

My heart breaks reading this. It is so obvious that you and Ryan are so in love, best friends and crazy about each other. That's why this hurts all the more.

I think you have received some wise counsel in these comments. I cannot know what you going through but so many other moms who have taken this same difficult journey do. I pray that you can talk to some of them, which could give you insight into what you and Ryan are now walking through.

I pray that your birthday is the day that you and Ryan reconnect. Your beautiful love created Christian (and his twin). You must reach out to the Lord so that He can take your hand and Ryan's hand and join them together again. Sometimes it is through God's love that we can make our way back to our husbands.

Praying, praying, praying!!!

Wishing you a Happy Birthday sweet Leah. You are so loved and you are not alone. May you feel Jesus's arms around you both.

Radar's Mom said...

Dear Leah,

I so hope that today has brought you a better day than you might have anticipated. Grief sucks! No matter how much love we are surrounded by - no matter how close -whether it be husband or mother or friend - grief is still lonely in many ways. Time helps some, but not enough... certainly not fast enough. If Ryan is open to counseling, you both might try to find someone that is able to help you both in connecting better... You are both grieving and so in a sense, each lonely in your grief. I don't know if there's a way around that, but putting yourself in a setting with someone with professional experience and empathy, might just help to open some path that neither of you can see right now.

My heart breaks for you Leah. I am praying for some ounce of peace for you on your birthday.


Jaci said...

Happy Birthday Leah. I hope you and Ryan will be okay! I hope your birthday is well. I will pray for your family as you continue to grieve the loss of your sweet baby. Stay strong.

Susie said...

Happy Birthday. I pray for you each night.

Melissa said...

I agree with Carla...I'm sure it is hard to "celebrate" when you are grieving (like when we all said happy new year as my mom laid in a hospital bed dying of cancer)
But, I do want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!!! I hope you and Ryan were able to patch things up and share your birthday together!!

And remember that you have a special little angel looking down on you---wishing his mommy Happy Birthday...and hoping his mommy and daddy can mend their broken hearts and find each other again!!

they call me the boss said...

Praying for you both.

Tina said...


I have a 13 month daughter in heaven. I am also divorced and remarried since her death. My advice (of course I will pray as well) but get some good christian help. Too many people don't make it through the death of a child. All of these blogs I read have amazing faith even after losing a child. I had faith but not to the extent that I do now after losing my daughter. You and Ryan need each other and need to find a way to grieve with each other and be there for one another. My heart aches for you. Go to him and break the ice first, tell him how mnuch you love him and need him. I will pray pray pray for you


Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog since before Christian was born, but have never left a comment. I think of you both all of the time and keep you in my prayers.

I have gone through a few tragedies myself (things I wouldn't want to put in any comments) and through each, people always said "Time Heals"....I sometimes hated to hear that, however it is so true!!!

One thing that REALLY helped me was going to my church counselor, I did use another counselor which did extremely help. But my counselor at my church truly saved my life! If that is something that both of you could do together and seperate, I think it could help so much!!!

Everyone does grieve differently and it can be hard, but if it is something that you can recognize and talk about it might help....but more than anything...put EVERYTHING in God's hands...he will take you across the river...He is the one who throws the stones out for you so that you can cross the rough rapids....just ask Him and He will make that path.

Thinking and praying for both of you!
Wendy in Texas
P.S. I hope you had a Happy Birthday!

Becky said...

Dear Leah - I am so sorry. Today my eldest daughter called me weeping because their last chance to have another child through FET was negative. I just sent her a little note reminding her that when we change the 'D' in disappointment to an 'H', we have Hisappointment. We have to believe that what we believe is really true and that we can trust His heart no matter what....
I will be praying for you and Ryan.

Chrissy said...

Happy Birthday Leah! Thinking of you and praying too.

MT said...

Prayers to you and your husband always. Men and woman grieve different. I am going through my own infertility issues and have come to realize that. So instead of fixing on how my husband is reacting or reacting to me...I focus more on how I feel and what I need to do to feel better, even if its mean reaching out to others for help. Our husband mean well of course but, how they cope is different. You can't compare the loss a mother feels, there is nothing like it.
God is with you and will bring you throug this but, please reach out for help, you can't do this alone.

Melody said...

Every couple experiences times where the ocean between them can create silence and hurt. Most of the time, the reason the ocean appeared in the first place is small and petty. The grief that you and Ryan are dealing with is NOT a small thing. I cannot imagine all you two have been through and the emotions that have accompained the pain.

Try to remember that God can use everything for good. Ultimately, He can strengthen your marriage and deepen your appreciation for one another and your differences. But what I have learned (often the hard way), is that I have to want to allow God to use the situation for good and growth. Try to let go of the pain, the hurt, the anger. Easier said than done, I know, but if you can, you will find your friend again.

I'm definitely sending up many prayers on your behalf, and I hope your birthday was a day filled with love and peace.

krueth said...

Praying for you, that you can both set aside any differences and just talk. Wendy

Penny said...

I am so sorry for all the extra burden you are going through right now. It seems sometimes that when we are at the lowest we can imagine that the other shoe falls. You are both going through so much and it isn't easy to be each other pillar when you feel like you are crumbling yourself. I would try to find some good Christian counsel and try to not let the little extra (the day to day) get over blown. You have so much to give each other but right now your grief doesn't want you to know that.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday and you and Ryan can make some steps to rebuild your new lives.

Denise said...

Hoping you have a Happy Birthday and praying that you and Ryan will be able to work through your feelings. It might help to talk to someone like a Christian Grief counselor who can help you to say the things that were left unsaid and help you work through all the feelings you have. You two love each other so much and each of you have a strong faith in God, please take the time to pray together and to not allow Satan to break you two apart:)

cojlisa16 said...

Praying for both of you. I hope your birthday turned out ok and that by now you are back in the loving embrace of your husband.

Anonymous said...

Leah and Ryan - I have been following your blog for quite some time and praying for you - for your strength, your healing. I truly believe that Christian sees you everyday, so think of him watching what is going on in your lives - let Christian's love for both of you bring you together, whether it be in grief, anger or happiness. It is your love for each other that created him.
While reading your blog when I first came upon it, I was in awe of the love the two of you had for each other - Please do not let your struggles destroy that. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers and pray that Christian's love for you both, rekindles the special bond that the two of you once had.

Thoughts love and prayers from Illinois.

Anonymous said...

I prayed that you would have a good birthday and I continue to pray for you and Ryan to come together and work through this! Only GOd can get you through this rough water-this too shall pass! Noone else can understand what the 2 of you have been through together-you need each other to lean on!